Megan’s Experience with Mentioning Usher
August 14, 2019
by Megan Lengel
Mentioning Usher on your application is entirely up to you. I had other things that I mentioned in my applications to various colleges. I may have mentioned Usher casually, but I don’t believe I wrote any of my applications about my disability. I believe I checked a box on applications to indicate that I had a disability and registered with the disability office of my university prior to official attendance, but I otherwise did not mention my disability in any significant way. This is not to say that I dissuade anyone from doing so. For many, Usher provides them an avenue in which to highlight their tenacity, perseverance, and ability handling stress. Usher can be a fantastic prompt for any entrance essay. Over-emphasizing the consequences of having a disability can turn you off to schools that may not appreciate displays of desperation, so it is up to you to craft a powerful, yet balanced, story. Though I HIGHLY advise any student with a disability to register with their campus disability resources office, you are under no obligation to do so. In registering with the office, you put yourself in a better position to get the accommodations you need. You will NOT get those accommodations if you are not registered, and registration or lack thereof may impact your standing with any financial aid programs or state-sanctioned Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing or Visually Impaired services. However, if you are hesitant to mention your disability on your application, know that you are entirely backed up by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. All post-secondary institutions are required by federal law to provide access to students with disabilities. These institutions include public universities, vocational schools, community colleges, and private institutions. Schools run by religious entities are not covered by the ADA, but any other school that receives federal financial assistance or allows its students to receive federal financial aid must follow its laws. Under the ADA and Section 504, schools are not permitted to ask you to disclose whether you have a disability. You also may not be denied admission based on your disability, or be excluded from a particular class, program, or activity based on your disability. Learn more about your rights as a student with a disability here: (http://studentcaffe.com/prepare/students-with-disabilities/ada-your-rights-college-student). Make sure that whatever decisions you make regarding your application, it is the right one for you. Build up the confidence you need to bravely and openly talk about your disability in any capacity you wish.